Supporters raise $1 million for new Mendenhall Valley library

Members of the Juneau Assembly were all smiles last night while accepting an oversize check for $775,000 from Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries.

The nonprofit has now given the city $1 million for construction of a new Mendenhall Valley library. Last year the group gave the city a check for $225,000.

“This is so much fun to give away a million dollars,” said Paul Berans, president of the friends of the libraries board of directors.

The group raised most of the money by selling used books at its Amazing Bookstore.

“Can you imagine how many books at a nickel, a dime, a quarter and a dollar it takes?” Berans asked.

He gave credit to the dozens of volunteers who donate their time at the store and library events.

Planning and design are nearly complete for the new Mendenhall Valley library.

With the $1 million from the friends group, the city will pay for less than half of the nearly $14 million project. In 2012, Juneau voters approved a sales tax measure to provide some of the financing. The rest will come from a $7 million state grant.

The new library will be built at Dimond Park and replace the current branch located in the Mendenhall Mall.

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